Other positive approaches to property have a role to play, too. UOWN is fortunate to be part of a strong ecosystem of regional property organisations which are making great contributions to improving the landscape for all of us.
For example, there are over 26,000 empty homes around our region, and 203,596 empty homes for England at the last count. If we compare those numbers with Yorkshire’s house-building shortfall, we can see that good-quality reconditioning of some of our old housing stock has the potential to make a big dent in the current housing shortage. Latch has been doing something about that for our city since 1989, while Leeds Empties has been making a broader contribution since 2013.
Similarly, Lilac and Leeds Community Homes are at the cutting edge of building good homes for our local communities. Both prioritise shared ownership, affordability, build quality, and environmentally sustainable methods, and they’re gaining strong recognition and support for their positive work. Ecological low-impact living and people-powered development show the power of democratic approaches to property. And Leeds-based developer Citu sets the pace for progressive place-making with their Greenhouse development; a modern, zero-carbon complex in the heart of the city, it’s an impressive example of how to build well.
Projects like these mean more housing stock, better homes, and more opportunities for investment. When we tie all of this together in the right way, we can transform how we own and manage property.
Property crowdfunding can be the force for change that we all need. And our goal here at UOWN is to stand up for what our investors and tenants really need, to be the best for society, and the most democratic amongst the rapidly developing landscape of property crowd investment companies.
As part of a range of linked approaches to developing property well for the future, we can nudge the ‘big picture’ away from inequality and unfairness. Now’s the time to develop a property market that’s truly fit for the 21st century.